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Resident files claim against unqualified radiologist for unnecessary surgery

Powell River woman has ongoing health issues as result of false scan reading
Kyle Wells

A civil claim has been filed against Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), Powell River General Hospital (PRGH) and Dr. Mansukhlal Mavji (Charlie) Parmar over a misdiagnosis that resulted in two unnecessary surgeries and long-term health concerns for a Powell River patient.

In the claim Sophia Hilleren, a medical office worker in Powell River, states that as a result of a reading by Parmar of her April 27, 2010 CT scan she underwent unnecessary exploratory surgery and hemicolectomy surgery in May 2010. These surgeries included the removal of her ileocaecal valve which resulted in ongoing medical concerns and means Hilleren will “be on medications the remainder of her life,” according to the claim.

Parmar read in the scans a lesion suggestive of cancer. Following the surgeries and a re-read of the scan, doctors determined that the reading “showed no abnormality.”

Among the list of medical issues outlined in the claim are Hilleren’s complaints of inflammation, nausea, chronic cramping, anxiety, incontinence, diarrhea and malnutrition.

“As a result of the defendants’ negligence and breach of the contractual standard of care, the plaintiff will be partially disabled for the rest of her life,” reads the claim. Parmar’s negligence included “attempting to read CT Scans which he was not qualified to do and thereby producing erroneous and misleading investigations and reports” that “led to unnecessary surgical procedures.”

Hilleren is seeking damages for pain and suffering, damages for past and future loss of earnings and future medical costs, among others, on the basis of negligence of both Parmar, VCH and PRGH. The claim accuses VCH and the hospital of “failing to properly enforce limitation on Dr. Parmar’s practice,” “failing to properly monitor Dr. Parmar’s job activities and functions” and numerous other discrepancies.

Parmar’s immediate supervisor is also listed as defendant “John Doe” for not properly reviewing “Parmar’s credentials, activities, reports and investigations,” among other claims.

Parmar worked at PRGH as a radiologist until it was revealed that between April and October 2010 he read around 900 CT scans and 2,300 obstetrical ultrasounds despite being unqualified to do so by voluntary restriction. The incident is currently under an independent investigation headed by Dr. Doug Cochrane, chair of the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council.

Lawyers for Hilleren are having trouble locating Parmar to personally serve him the claim, according to Robert Gibbens of Laxton Gibbens and Company law firm.

VCH would not comment on the claim while it remains active.

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